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Explosion in Beirut: Lebanese state TV announces death of party leader

Lebanese state TV broadcaster NNA announced the death of party leader Nizar Najarian, secretary general of the Kataeb Party (known as Lebanese Phalanges), victim of injuries caused by the massive explosion that occurred today in the port region of Beirut, the capital of Lebanon. According to the broadcaster, Najarian was in his office at the time of the explosion.

According to country officials, at least 30 people died from the explosion. In addition, the incident left more than 2,200 injured, who are being referred to hospitals in the city. A gigantic column of smoke can be seen from across the city, according to witnesses reported and recorded in videos posted on social media.

Two security sources told Reuters the explosion occurred in the port area containing warehouses. The explosion shook several areas of the capital, smashing windows and doors and damaging vehicles.

“I saw a ball of fire and smoke rising over Beirut. People were screaming and running, bleeding. Balconies were torn from buildings. The glass in the buildings broke and fell on the streets,” said a Reuters witness.

* With information from Reuters

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